Bilas does, however, have UK making it past the Davidson Wildcats in the Round of 64. While a lot of so-called experts are predicting Davidson to pull the big upset, Bilas isn’t quite ready to make that that jump.
That said, Bials expects this to be a very difficult challenge for UK.
Bob McKillop is one of the truly great coaches in the game, and he has some very skilled and very good players to combat Kentucky’s athleticism and size. Davidson is led by Peyton Aldridge, a big, skilled forward who can play at the next level. Aldridge can pass, cut, handle it, block a shot and rebound. In addition, Aldridge can score with anyone and has put up games with 45 points, 37 points and 35 points. Freshman guard Kellan Grady is a unique talent who has the size and ability to give Shai Gilgeous-Alexander some problems.
Bilas has the Cats from Lexington winning their first game, but they end up going down to the Arizona Wildcats in the Round of 32.
This seems like it should be in the Elite Eight, not the second round. But as well as Kentucky is playing, the Wildcats will have a hard time beating Arizona. The only way Kentucky moves forward is if Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander go crazy in the same game. Arizona will beat Kentucky to advance to the second weekend.
Bilas is definitely right about that first sentence. Kentucky-Arizona sounds like an Elite Eight or at the worst Sweet 16 matchup, definitely not a matchup in the Round of 32. But the Selection Committee loves marquee matchups involving Kentucky in the second round as of late.
Overall, Bilas predicts a Final Four of Virginia, Michigan State, Villanova and Michigan. He doesn’t even have Duke or North Carolina making the Elite Eight.
So to recap, Bilas doesn’t have UK, Duke, Kansas or North Carolina making it to the Final Four.
How rare is that?
It’s happened just once since 2008 when none of those blue bloods made it in a 2013 Final Four that now has a vacated championship banner by Louisville.
Bilas has a Virginia vs. Michigan State championship game, but you may not want to buy too much into Jay’s predictions. One of his predictions is already off, as he picked UCLA to advance to the Sweet 16.
The tournament is here, and make sure that you join our pool. We’re all bound to look like idiots anyway.